I will be in Fredericksburg, VA picking up a boat. I will have my daughter with me, who is not big on kayaking long distances. I am looking for nice peaceful (but not rivers) paddling places around Chesapeak bay and camping sites. Any suggestions??? Thanky ou very much.
there are 2 Fredericksburg(s) in Va. …
..... one in Rockbridge Co. , the other Fredericksburg City (S. side of D.C.)... anyway , take a look at Lake Anna (state park), about 30 miles (45 mins. S.E.) of the Fredericksburg that is an hour (50 miles) south of Wash.D.C. ... Lake Anna is 2 hours or more from Fredericksburg,Rockbridge Co.
picking up a boat…
would it be a Valley Avocet red over white w. yellow seat, coaming and trim? 3 hatches?
Just curious '-)
Red/yellow Valley Avocet
Yes its the boat-- I CAN’T WAIT TO PICK IT UP. I used to have a plastic Avocet and it was stolen last year.
glad that karma came around!
that boat looks absolutely mint and the custom colors… whoooeee. Plus the accessories are all top quality and yeah, they look great w. the boat.
So glad another female paddler got that beautiful Avocet - and at such a deal!
…I’m glad too, but time your trip…
…that area has some of the worst traffic backups on the planet…
Anywhere on the Bay?
How far do you want to drive? If you look at the geography of the area, as you move to the eastern shore and south on the eastern shore of the bay, there is less and less development, so the quieter areas are generally across the bridge and to the south. Also, the areas down in Virginia that are between rivers, i.e., “the northern neck” (between the Rap. and James) are less developed, because they are dead-end necks, not on the way to anywhere.
And why not rivers? The Bay itself is merely the flooded riverbed of the Susquahanna. The most peaceful places on the Bay tend to be back in the bays and rivers.
Wide-open paddling close to Fredericksburg can be found on the Potomac. I know you said not rivers, but it is very open, maybe two miles wide in this area. The Gazatteer shows a campground in Colonial Beach and another near the 301 bridge on the Maryland side.
I suspect some of the southern Virginians could recommend you many quiet spots further south down the Virginia side of the Bay. Mathews County has paddling trails that are supposed to be very nice. Try pinging Ayornamut, who sometimes posts here and paddles there, for recommendations.
And are you looking for paddle-in camping, camping with paddling access, or just camping?
Well, not sure this helps. Get back to me with more specifics on what you are looking for and I’ll try to do better.
Several Good Places
There are several good places not too far from Fredericksburg, and some great ones a little further away. I can give you more details if you'd like to PM me, or you can Google them up. Depending on when you are down here, some of our paddle group members may be going to one of these spots.
Westmoreland State Park is a good location if you want a tidal river paddle not too far from Fburg. There are fossil shark teeth to be found at low tide. The river is wide, but the distance is short.
A little east of Fburg, Fleets Island is a nice area to paddle, but part of it depends on your level of experience. There is about a mile paddle along the south side of the island where the Rappahannock enters the Chesapeake. Then you can paddle to the small quiet creeks/estuaries in the interior of the island. If wind is from the south, however, the long fetch across the Chesapeake can build up challenging waves (or fun ... it's all perspective) on the Rapp portion. Total circum is about 8.3 mi. Paddling to the interior creeks and back is about 4 mi, but those 2 Rapp mi could potentially be more energetic.
A little further south, Mathews Blueways Trails provides many paddle opportunities. There is a camp ground on Gwynn's Island. From the camp area, you can paddle out into Milford Haven and Sandy Point at the tip of Gwynn's, generally fairly sheltered in the interior but you can go out on the open Bay. You can also choose more sheltered areas in the Piankatank River to the west of Gwynn's. Or if you would like, drive a little further south and launch at the Nature Conservancy landing at New Point Comfort for a 1.5 mile paddle out to a nice beach and view, or possible paddle to, the NPC lighthouse. This area is generally lee sheltered unless there is brisk wind from SE>SW across Mobjack Bay (we had 2.5-3ft breaking waves Sunday morning on Mobjack w/the 10-12mph S wind blowing all night - it was a blast!). There are estuary areas to explore as well. And, we followed a nice pod of dolphins later that evening when things calmed. Winter Harbor provides a sheltered estuary exploration opportunity (watch low tide though, you can get into mudflat areas), or you can access the open Bay from there.